Remarks With Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un of North Korea and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and an Exchange With Reporters in Panmunjom, Korean Demilitarized Zone
[Prior to greeting Chairman Kim at the line of demarcation, the President walked from the Freedom House, paused at the curb separating South and North Korea, and waited as Chairman Kim approached. He then greeted Chairman Kim as follows.]
President Trump. My friend.
Chairman Kim. It is good to see you again. I've never expected to meet you at this place.
President Trump. That's good. It's my honor. Would you like me to step across? [Inaudible] Would you like me to?
Chairman Kim. If you—[inaudible]—take a step forward, you will be the first U.S. President to cross the border. Good luck.
President Trump. I'm okay with that. I'd be very proud. I'd be very proud to do that. Okay. Let's do it. Come on.
[At this point, the President crossed briefly into North Korean territory, walking with Chairman Kim. They then turned, shook hands, spoke briefly, and returned to the line of demarcation, where they paused for photographs.]
Chairman Kim. This is a great moment.
President Trump. Big moment, big moment. Big progress. Tremendous progress.
[The President and Chairman Kim walked together into South Korean territory and continued their conversation.]
President Trump. So I was in Japan, and then it was Seoul. [Inaudible]—and you said yes. And I said, "Great".
The President's Meeting With Chairman Kim
Q. How do you feel?
President Trump. It's great. I feel great. It's a great honor to be here.
Chairman Kim. As you can see, this shows that nobody has expected this moment. [Laughter]
Q. Chairman Kim, how do you feel?
Chairman Kim. President Trump has just walked across the demarcation line. That made him the first U.S. President to visit our country. I believe just looking at this action, this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.
President Trump. I just want to say that this is my honor. I didn't really expect it. We were in Japan for the G-20. We came over, and I said: "Hey, I'm over here. I want to call up Chairman Kim." And we got to meet. And stepping across that line was a great honor. A lot of progress has been made. A lot of friendships have been made. And this has been in particular a great friendship. So I just want to thank you. That was very quick notice, and I want to thank you. [Laughter] So we're going to go inside. We're going to talk for a little while about different things. And a lot of really positive things are happening, and I'm glad you could be here to see it. But tremendous positivity. Really great things are happening and—in a lot of places. But we met, and we liked each other from day one, and that was very important.
Thank you, everybody. Thank you.
North Korea-U.S. Relations
Q. Would you invite him to the U.S.?
President Trump. I would invite him right now—to the White House. Absolutely.
[President Trump and Chairman Kim approached the Freedom House, where they greeted President Moon and continued their conversation.]
President Moon. I'd really like to pay my tribute to the efforts of you two. You have really made a historic moment today.
President Trump. Thank you. I think it is. And it's a great day for a lot of people. It's a great day, really, for the world, if you think about it. Beyond North Korea, South Korea, it's a great day for the world, and it's an honor for me to be here. And thank you both very much.
President Moon. The two leaders have just presented such a big hope to the 80,000 Korean people as well as to the whole world. So I do look forward to great progress being made in your subsequent dialogue.
President Trump. Well, I want to thank everybody. Thank you all for being here.
I have to say that when I first became President of the United States, there was great conflict in this area. Great, great conflict. And now we have just the opposite. And it's my honor. And it's the Chairman's honor, I can say. We work well together. And, Mr. President, thank you.
Chairman Kim. I would like to also take this opportunity to express my gratitude for all your assistance in having such a good opportunity.
President Trump. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you all.
NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 3:45 p.m. outside of the Freedom House. President Moon and Chairman Kim spoke in Korean, and their remarks were translated by an interpreter.
Donald J. Trump, Remarks With Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un of North Korea and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and an Exchange With Reporters in Panmunjom, Korean Demilitarized Zone Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/333684